What is going on in the American workplace? Is your company starting to look like a scene from The Apprentice? It's no joke when we say, the leadership of the U.S. has oozed into the hallways and boardrooms of Corporate America.
If you've been in a meeting and feel you are being attacked or intimidated, you are not the only one. If you've heard the words, "You're fired!" and you're wondering who is next, we are here to help you cope with the stress. We do not have to be 6-year-olds on the playground these days to encounter a bully.
The first thing you need to know if the VP turns on you is, it is it is NOT your fault. Workplace bullying is an abuse or misuse of power. It has a detrimental effect on every person in the company. It also impacts upon the company's success. Bullying behavior is easy to recognize, too - it intimidates, degrades, and offends a person, often in front of others. A person who is the target of a bullying manager, supervisor, or coworker often feels defenseless and demoralized. Not only that, workers who try to stay and cope with bullying conditions at work may pay the price with health ailments; the effects of stress include digestive problems, musculoskeletal issues, and sleep disturbances.
It's unacceptable that bullying is rampant in the workplace. And here's part of the reason: Federal and state laws offer no protection. There are small protections in the case of racial discrimination or sexual misconduct. But what about the bully who attacks someone violently for reasons that aren't so obvious? With this lack of boundaries, managers, supervisors and coworkers (intentionally or not) more often cross the line. It's time we recognize this kind of bullying behavior in the workplace, call it out, and let the bullies know it is unacceptable.
Examples of bullying (from the American Federation of Teachers) may include:
Bullies rarely mistreat staff in isolation; they create a culture of bullying. A culture or environment of fear and intimidation. What should you do if you encounter a bully in the workplace? Our research has shown that, though the law will not protect you, there are some actions you can take to protect yourself:
We at Bija Initiative are seeking ways to take a stand against this trend. It is unethical and unacceptable. Here's some resources we found that might be helpful, but please share any that you have found useful!
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